Sime Darby gets EV lift
30 Sep 2022
Sime Darby Bhd’s move to distribute China-based BYD’s cars in Malaysia will reinforce its position as the leader in electric vehicle (EV) offerings in the country.
BYD has announced plans to set up a facility in Thailand to produce 150,000 passenger cars annually from 2024 for domestic consumption and exports to regional countries as well as Europe.
As such, RHB Investment Bank said it was only a matter of time before Sime Darby brought BYD into Malaysia, considering it is already a BYD dealer in Singapore via Vantage Automotive.
BYD’s Atto 3 model could potentially be the most affordable EV in the market.
“With BYD added to its list of renowned brands in Malaysia, Sime Darby strengthens its position as the auto company with the most comprehensive EV offering in the country.
“From our recent ground checks, the orders for its EVs remain robust despite long waiting periods,” RHB noted in a report on Sime Darby yesterday.
The rising popularity of EVs has kept orders strong despite the long waiting periods for various popular models.
Some buyers had to wait up to two years for the Porsche Taycan, more than six months for the BMW iX and 12 to 18 months for the Hyundai Ioniq5.
The Hyundai Kona Pro and Max have available stock, while the Lite variant has a waiting period of two months according to RHB.
Sime Darby could also see greater sales volumes for the Volvo XC40 Pure Electric beginning February or March, once the completely-knocked-down version starts mass production.
The research house has maintained its “buy” call on Sime Darby with a target price of RM2.75.
This will depend on the BYD car volumes that Sime Darby will bring into the market, as early volumes are unlikely to impact earnings in a meaningful way, according to RHB.
The research house noted that the Atto 3 is an electric C-segment sport-utility vehicle which now retails in Australia and Thailand for RM137,000 to RM147,000 while the new e6, an electric compact multipurpose-vehicle, is on sale for S$116,000 or RM371,850.
“If the Atto 3 sells in Malaysia for between RM137,000 and RM147,000, then it may soon be the country’s cheapest EV, dethroning the Hyundai Kona e-lite, which currently has a starting price of RM157,000.
“The Atto 3’s pricing may go head-to-head against Great Wall Motors’ Ora Good Cat EV, which is said to retail between RM130,000 and RM180,000,” RHB said.
RHB recommended the stock for its growing fleet of EV offerings, 5.6% dividend yield, resilient Australasia industrial business and potential special dividends from its divestment of non-core assets.
The research house added that for most of Sime Darby’s marques, the chip shortage issues have largely been resolved.
However, it said many assembly plants are still lacking components such as wire harnesses, headlamps, speakers and some sensors.
Post the tax exemption period, orders in July were generally down 20% to 30% from the first half of 2022, with some marques seeing 50% in declines.
According to RHB, new orders are gradually recovering but still remains soft, adding that it is not a major concern as backlog orders remain strong.
Source: The Star